Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) invited high school students throughout the 42nd Congressional District to participate in the 35th Annual Congressional Art Competition.
“The artistic talents of Riverside County students never cease to amaze me,” said Rep. Calvert. “The Congressional Art Competition is a fantastic way to showcase the talents of young Americans from around the country at the Capitol.”
This year marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Congressional Art Competition, An Artistic Discovery. Each year, Members of Congress hold contests within their districts to choose winning pieces of art by high school students. Since this competition was created in 1982, hundreds of thousands of high school students have participated at the local level. The winning student from each district is invited to Washington, DC for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, and will have his or her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.
For more information, please contact Jackie Lansing at (951) 277-0042.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority (371-48) of his House colleagues to pass the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill. Rep. Calvert serves as the Vice Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
“The Defense Appropriations bill passed by the House today is an important first step to rebuild and restore our military strength,” said Rep. Calvert. “The bill provides vital funding for our Armed Services, including a 2.1% pay raise and additional funding for increased end strength. I look forward to working with the new Administration and providing the resources our military needs to maintain our position in the world as well as continue to invest in our most important asset – the men and women our United States Armed Forces.”
Bill Highlights (Provided by the House Appropriations Committee):
Military Personnel and Pay – The agreement includes $132.1 billion – $128.7 billion for base requirements and $3.4 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – to provide for 1,305,900 active-duty troops and 813,200 Guard and Reserve troops. The agreement denies the troop reductions proposed in the previous Administration’s fiscal year 2017 budget request. The agreement also fully funds the authorized 2.1 percent pay raise for the military, instead of 1.6 percent as requested by the previous Administration.
Defense Health and Military Family Programs – The agreement contains $34.1 billion for base and GWOT requirements – $1.5 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $314 million above the previous Administration’s request – for the Defense Health Program to provide care for our troops, military families, and retirees. The agreement provides $312 million for cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $296 million for sexual assault prevention and response. All of these funding levels represent increases above the budget request for these programs.
Force Structure – The agreement rejects the Obama Administration’s proposed troop reductions. Instead, the agreement provides increases above fiscal year 2016, including funds for an additional 1,000 active-duty Army soldiers, 1,000 Army National Guard soldiers, 1,000 Army Reserve soldiers, and 1,000 active-duty Marines.
Savings and Reductions to President Obama’s Request – The agreement reflects commonsense decisions to save taxpayer dollars where possible in areas that will not affect the safety or success of our troops and missions. Some of these savings include: $1.155 billion from lower-than-expected fuel costs; $157 million due to favorable economic conditions; and $4.76 billion in savings from rescissions of unused prior-year funding.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement on the introduction of the American Health Care Act:
“With premiums rising, deductibles increasing, and health care choices decreasing, American families know all too well that Obamacare is collapsing. That’s exactly why I promised the voters in my district that I would take action and work to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered health care solutions that actually reduce costs and expand choices. The simple fact is our health care system is on life support and whoever won last year’s election was going to need to resuscitate it.
The introduction of the American Health Care Act is an important step towards the fulfillment of that promise. The bill empowers families and doctors with health care decisions, rather than giving Washington bureaucrats the power to impose one-size-fits-all regulations. Not everyone requires the same type of health plan, so the bill gives Americans more affordable options and the ability to find the right plan for them.
It’s important to note that the House plan will continue to protect American families by ensuring people with pre-existing conditions are not denied heath care policies and allowing the coverage of dependents until they are 26 years old.
The American Health Care Act will also help patients and our economy by repealing Obamacare taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health-insurance premiums and medical devices.
Repealing and replacing Obamacare is not an easy task, but the American people don’t want to hear excuses – they want health care policies that actually work. I look forward to working with my colleagues throughout the legislative process to send a bill to President Trump’s desk that saves our health care system.”
For more information on the American Health Care Act and to read the bill please visit www.ReadTheBill.gop
Today, House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) named Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-42) as the Vice Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12) serves as the Chairwoman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
“I am honored to serve as the Vice Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and I want to thank Chairman Frelinghuysen and Chairwoman Granger,” said Rep. Calvert. “I look forward to working with the Chairwoman and supporting her as she takes the helm of the Subcommittee. Conducting hearings, reviewing the President’s budget request and crafting the bill that funds our men and women in uniform is of the highest importance. As we face numerous threats around the world it is vital that we provide our Armed Forces with the resources they need to accomplish their missions and minimize risk as well as plan for future threats.”
Rep. Calvert is also the Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, a senior member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee and the Appropriations Liaison to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement ahead of the Joint Address to Congress by President Trump:
“As we’ve already seen by his actions, President Trump intends to fulfill the promises made last year on the campaign trail. Some people may still be in shock that he won the election, but no one should be surprised by the actions President Trump is taking.
Tonight, I expect President Trump to lay out a bold agenda to get America back on the right track. I look forward to working with him and my colleagues in Congress to enact that agenda in the days, weeks and months ahead.
I am eager to fulfill the promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare with health care solutions that truly reduce health care costs, give families more choices, and accomplish these goals in a fiscally sustainable manner. President Trump and Republicans in Congress have already started and will continue to fulfill our promise to cut through the regulatory red-tape that is holding back job creators and putting too much power in the hands of Washington bureaucrats. Likewise, we must simplify the tax code, reduce the corporate tax rate, ease the tax burden on American families and get onerous taxation out of the way of American ingenuity.
I also support President Trump’s efforts to secure our borders, bolster interior enforcement and to deport criminal aliens. I will continue my efforts to cut off the job magnet by making the use of E-Verify mandatory. Working together, we will also rebuild our military by giving our troops the resources they need to complete the difficult tasks we ask them to perform.
Last week, I spent time with my constituents and the elected leaders of every city that I represent discussing the challenges and opportunities they face. In every meeting we talked about the tremendous infrastructure needs of our region. I look forward to working with President Trump and our local leaders to make sure the Inland Empire infrastructure projects are front and center for the significant investment he is proposing.
President Trump and I were elected to fix our broken health care system, improve our economy, change the direction of our deteriorating military, and rebuild our
crumbling infrastructure. And, that’s exactly what we intend to do. The task before us is substantial, but as the saying goes – things worth having don't come easy.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) completed his annual meetings with every city and county throughout the 42nd Congressional District. Since first being elected to the House of Representatives, Rep. Calvert has spent a week early in the calendar year meeting with the elected leaders and staff from every city and county in his congressional district to discuss the federal issues that are a priority for them.
“The annual meetings I hold with these elected leaders and staff members are a productive way of communicating about the federal issues that affect our communities here in my congressional district,” said Rep. Calvert. “There are a lot of exciting opportunities and challenges throughout the 42nd Congressional District and I look forward to my continued work with our communities in the days, weeks, and months to come.”
Below is a brief recap of Rep. Calvert’s meetings that took place this week:
Rep. Calvert met with Canyon Lake Mayor Dawn Haggerty and Mayor Pro Tem Vicki Warren to discuss the potential purchase of excess federal land adjacent to the city and finding ways to improve the long-term water quality of the lake.
Rep. Calvert met with Corona Mayor Dick Haley and Vice Mayor Karen Spiegel regarding federal funding for infrastructure, finding federal grants for new senior/community centers, and economic development opportunities.
Rep. Calvert met with Eastvale Council Member Todd Rigby to discuss the construction of an expanded Hamner bridge, the improvement of the Limonite/I-15 interchange, and a single zip code for the city.
Rep. Calvert met with Lake Elsinore Mayor Bob Magee and Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Johnson to discuss the infrastructure needs in the city, regulatory reform, improving the environmental conditions of the lake, as well as the exciting economic development opportunities that exist in Lake Elsinore.
Rep. Calvert met with Menifee Mayor Neil Winter, Council Member Greg August, Council Member Lesa Sobek, and Council Member John Denver regarding infrastructure, mail theft, and the vehicle license fees (VLF) the state is withholding from the city. In addition, Rep. Calvert and the Council heard from a number of Menifee residents about a variety of federal issues.
Rep. Calvert met with Murrieta Mayor Rick Gibbs and Council Member Randon Lane to discuss the Keller Road/I-215 interchange project, the Murrieta Creek flood control project, and mail theft.
Rep. Calvert met with Norco Mayor Greg Newton and Mayor Pro Tem Ted Hoffman to talk about the construction of an expanded Hamner bridge, infrastructure, and the Norco Navy base.
Rep. Calvert met with Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards and Mayor Pro Tem Matt Rahn to discuss improving transportation along I-15, the Murrieta Creek flood control project, and finding innovative ways to construct infrastructure projects faster.
Rep. Calvert met with Wildomar Mayor Timothy Walker and Mayor Pro Tem Ben Benoit regarding infrastructure, helping businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and unifying Wildomar within a single zip code.
County of Riverside
Rep. Calvert met with Riverside County officials to discuss health care reform, local/federal immigration enforcement coordination, and infrastructure.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) reintroduced legislation, H.R. 925, that will ensure military reservists will receive Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits as intended by correcting an unintended issue that has negatively affected reservists when reporting for active duty.
“Our veterans and reservists deserve to receive the benefits they have earned without unnecessary complications,” said Rep. Calvert. “Our reservists make themselves available on short notice to contribute to our national security. Now it’s our turn to come to their aid by making this common sense fix to their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.”
Under current regulations, an individual who is released from active duty status may begin receiving the Post-9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) on the first day of the month following the date the individual is discharged. In addition, an individual who is released from active duty status may begin receiving their tuition and fees benefit on the first day of the enrollment period following the date the individual is discharged and begin receiving their books and supplies stipend on the first day of the month following the date the individual is discharged.
However, there are cases in which a Guard or reservist’s required monthly active duty would disqualify those individuals for the MHA benefit. Many reservists are required to routinely perform their jobs in a Title 10 status due to their specific job requirements and functions. These commonly include aircrew, intelligence personnel, and UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and Remote Piloted Aircraft operators. While not in a drill status, or if in a drill status under Title 38, an individual is entitled to their MHA and book allowance. When in a drill status under Title 10, the individual is entitled to the housing allowance, but only for the first portion of the month up to when they entered active duty under Title 10. Therefore, if an individual goes on active duty on the first day of the month for three days, the individual does not receive any housing, or book allowance payments for the rest of that entire month. Just one day of Title 10 service can result in forfeiture of MHA and book allowance for all or most of the month.
In order to maintain a Combat Mission Readiness state and proficiency at their job, some have to commit to a minimum of four training days a month in a Title 10 status. Many Guard and Reservists using their GI Bill benefits will be reluctant to volunteer for three to four day missions to ferry troops, equipment, and supplies into an Area of Responsibility knowing they will lose all or a portion of that month’s MHA. Many reservists are full-time students and rely on their MHA to pay rent, but as a result of the current rules they are denied their full MHA causing many members to incur thousands of dollars of debt. This is compounded by the fact that members of the reserve are used more frequently due to the increased tempo of operations around the world.
The legislation introduced by Rep. Calvert essentially prorates the MHA for the portion of the month the service member is not on active duty. The bill amends Title 38, United States Code, to clarify the eligibility for monthly stipends paid under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program for certain members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces. By easing restrictions on volunteers, it will increase the number of volunteers and the frequency of volunteerism while limiting the potential for personnel financial issues to arise. Most importantly, this bill seeks to enhance reserve components’ military readiness during high tempo operations.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) introduced the Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing (FACT) Act, H.R. 816. The FACT Act would improve reporting by EPA, FDA, NIH, USDA and other government agencies about their efforts to replace inefficient, multi-million-dollar animal tests with faster, less costly and more effective alternative methods for assessing the safety of chemicals, drugs, foods, cosmetics and other substances.
“For two decades, I have played a key role in the efforts to replace wasteful government animal tests with modern alternative tests that save significant time, taxpayers’ money and animals’ lives,” said Rep. Calvert. “The FACT Act will ensure that Congress has the information necessary to determine if federal agencies are meeting their mandates to replace expensive and unnecessary animal testing whenever possible, because evidence suggests they are not.”
The common-sense, bipartisan FACT Act amends the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) Authorization Act of 2000, which was created thru legislation authored by Rep. Calvert. The FACT Act specifies that biennial progress reports already required under the Act include details on how many animals were used by each agency and for what tests, as well as those it required in regulatory submissions. Some individual animal tests can cost taxpayers $4 million, use thousands of animals and take more than five years to complete.
Federal laws – including last year’s widely-supported amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act – require agencies to minimize animal tests in favor of high-tech alternatives like cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models. However, federal agencies do not currently report how many animals they use in testing or what they’re used for, making it impossible for Congress to assess their compliance and progress to replace wasteful animal tests.
A recent review by the non-profit White Coat Waste Project – which is endorsing the FACT Act – found that government agencies are regularly conducting hundreds of animal tests on cosmetics ingredients, foods, natural supplements, tobacco products, industrial chemicals, and drugs using mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys, and other animals.
“We applaud Congressman Calvert for introducing the FACT Act and for his outstanding work to ensure that taxpayers are not funding ineffective and cruel animal experiments,” said Justin Goodman, Vice President at the White Coat Waste Project.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court:
“I believe Neil Gorsuch is a strong choice to serve on our Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch’s record indicates he will be a strong defender of the Constitution and American liberties. Judge Gorsuch is well qualified and was approved unanimously via voice vote for his current seat on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. I applaud Senate Republicans for making sure that Justice Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court was not filled during a contentious election by a lame-duck president, and ensuring the new justice was chosen by the president elected by American voters in our recent election. I’m hopeful that the Senate will act quickly to consider and confirm the nomination of Neil Gorsuch.”
First and foremost, this is not a Muslim ban. There is no prohibition on the immigration of individuals based on religion. There is no prohibition of individuals who are Muslim from immigrating to the United States. Individuals from Muslim prominent countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, etc are not subject to this Executive Order (EO).
The Executive Order places a temporary 90 day halt to the admission of immigrant and non-immigrant visas for nationals from seven countries that are terrorist conflict areas: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The list of seven countries was established between Congress and the Obama Administration through the Visa Waiver Improvement Act. Within the EO there is a provision that puts a halt on all refugees for 120 days and an indefinite halt on Syrian refugees until the process for vetting refugees is improved. The order is similar to President Obama’s halt to Syrian refugees from 2011 to 2014.
In these countries it is very difficult to ascertain the identity and background of an individual, either because their home government is not cooperative (Iran, Syria) and/or because the country lacks the technical capability to verify identification (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen). The halt is similar to the Obama Administration’s stoppage of processing for Iraqi nationals after a terrorist plot by two Iraqi citizens was uncovered in Kentucky.
Every country in the world has a right to control their borders. For too long, the United States has allowed immigration into the U.S. without proper vetting procedures in place. As we saw with the attacks in San Bernardino, one of the attackers obtained a U.S. visa despite online posts that indicated she was a threat. This is just one example of many that highlight the need for a better vetting process.
It is important to note that the Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to admit individuals on a case-by-case basis.
As a Member of Congress, I have been proactively working on a way to improve the vetting process for Iraqi and Syrian refugees. However, the process could be implemented for any country identified as a possible national security threat. My bill, the SAFER Act (H.R. 441) would require:
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Ken Calvert, a lifelong resident of Riverside County and 17-year small business owner in the restaurant and real estate industries, represents the 42nd Congressional District of southern California. Calvert was born on June 8, 1953 and attended neighborhood public schools, graduating from Corona High School in 1971. He attended two years at Chaffey College, in Alta Loma, and then enrolled at San Diego State University, where he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Ken is a Protestant and is involved in several local community volunteer organizations.
The 42nd District encompasses the western edge of Riverside County including the cities of Eastvale, Norco, Corona, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Canyon Lake, Menifee, Murrieta and a portion of Temecula. Rep. Calvert was first elected to the House in 1992 and was part of the historic “Contract with America” class in 1994 that swept the House to Republican control for the first time in 40 years.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Calvert continues to serve on the House Appropriations Committee where he is the Chairman of the Interior and the Environment Subcommittee. Rep. Calvert is also a member of the Defense Subcommittee and the Energy and Water Subcommittee. He also serves on the House Budget Committee. Rep. Calvert was also selected to serve as the Chairman of the California Republican Delegation.
Rep. Calvert has been the California Republican Delegation’s voice on the House Steering Committee, which determines House Republican committee assignments, since 2003.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Calvert’s legislative priorities includes: enacting pro-growth policies that will help our struggling economy; reducing our national debt; reforming our tax code; supporting our military around the world and supporting the mission in Afghanistan; strengthening our borders and making the use of E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the U.S.; creating long-term solutions to California’s energy and water problems; working towards the implementation and funding of new transportation corridors vital to Riverside County’s future; reducing the time it takes to build infrastructure projects by making common sense, bi-partisan reforms to our environmental laws; and, much more.
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MORE health care reforms: Today the House voted to allow small businesses to join together in association health plans across state lines.
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Op-ed: Neil Gorsuch is the kind of judge our framers envisioned https://t.co/eY7P3TUCCJ
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We stand in solidarity with our allies in England and send our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by today’s horrific attack.